US authors make CASE for small-claims court

Luke AlcottCopyright law, News, USA

Creators in the US have seen ongoing successes in their campaigns for a small-claims court for copyright infringement, most recently with the Senate Judiciary Committee passing a vote for the CASE (Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement) Act to proceed to the full Senate for consideration.

Small-claims courts are an important measure for creators to protect their livelihood. While infringement of a creator’s work can take place frequently, court systems that rely on high costs to challenge infringement can leave authors with no recourse. In the UK the IP Enterprise Court fulfils this role, allowing for a low-cost resolution of disputes that does not require significant legal costs for creators. This enables claimants to seek compensation for easily provable infringement that previously would have been challenging due to high legal costs.

The CASE Act has had bipartisan support in the US House of Representatives and Senate which has been made possible by the great campaigning efforts of a wide range of creators’ organisations. IAF members including the Authors Coalition of America, Authors Guild, Artists Rights Society, American Society of Media Photographers, Graphic Artists Guild, National Writers Union, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the Textbook and Academic Authors Association have campaigned with the support of the Copyright Alliance, a non-profit organisation that represents a diverse membership across all areas of culture and creative industries.

IAF supports the establishment of a small-claims copyright court in the US, and would do so in other countries to provide vital support to authors who need to protect their work but face a legal system that does not sufficiently support individual creators.

See the Copyright Alliance press release.

See the Authors Guild coverage.

See the American Society of Media Photographers press release.

See the Graphic Artists Guild press release.

Photo by Louis Velazquez on Unsplash